Well, the holidays are approaching... time for all the people who have no clue what you're dealing with to guilt you about not doing enough for your loved one! I've been taking care of my 91-year-old mom to varying degrees for the past 15 years (even when not providing hands-on care, I'm solely responsible for her finances, household, medical needs, emotional support, etc.). I am dealing with some serious health issues of my own and am currently out of state (where my insurance coverage is) trying to sort things out, so I won't be with her on Thanksgiving. The reaction from my cousin, who is the family gossip like her mother before her (the mother who, it must be said, begged her daughter to let her move in with her in her declining years to no avail), was "Really? You're going to leave your mother alone on Thanksgiving?" I haven't shared all the details of my medical situation with my large extended family and don't feel I should have to in order to be entitled to their benefit of the doubt. I know I shouldn't let it bother me, my friends who know me well are extremely supportive, but as an only child my cousins are the only family I've got (my relationships with them also mean a lot to my mom) and I feel hurt and frankly enraged at the audacity of her implications. This isn't the first time either. Any suggestions for a constructive way to process or handle this?
You're right, that you need to just ignore your extended families ignorant comments, as until they have walked a mile in your shoes, they have NO right to comment.
Your health must be your number one priority, even before caring for your mother, so I hope that you will do whatever you must to keep yourself healthy and happy.
And please enjoy your Thanksgiving and don't let the nay sayers get you down.
As with so many others, Mom and I will be getting through the holidays the best we can, and we/I surely wish you a blessed one".
That's it. Turn their thoughtless back on them so they are able to re-examine it and learn from it should they choose to. Holidays have never been my favorite time, both from the standpoint of my view of the rest of the world outside out country, and the suffering that exists, and from the standpoint of the onus and burden it places upon us to be of "good cheer". In my next life I shall endeavor to be more like Mr. Fezziwig. Until then I will do the best I can with who I am. I wish you the best. Remember, when people are thoughtless and/or cruel it is almost never about you; it's about them. Wish them the best and move on and the epiphany of the burden lifted from your own heart is your gift.
Like my DH always advises in situations such as this, " Say the most ridiculous thing and leave them gaping."
If your cousin or anyone else in the peanut gallery I like to refer to as extended family wants to throw their two cents in, tell them to feel free to go themselves and spend Thanksgiving with your mother.
You are important too and so is your health. Too many people seem to think if someone reaches a ripe old age like your mom, that they then are the only priority in the lives of their adult kids.
They're not. If your cousin gets too mouthy and self-righteous remind her that she didn't take her own mother in even though she begged.
That should shut her up.
"If you wouldn't take their advice, then don't take their criticism."
Easier said than done but it put other's opinions in perspective for me.
Gosh Cuz, it is so nice of you to take your Aunt since my health needs to come first right now.
Love and kisses!
That's how I would deal with her if I were in your position.
Or you could quote Jesus in the Gospel according to Mark, Chapter 2 verse 27: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. There is even less justification for forcing the celebration of a secular holiday on a particular day - you and mother can have Thanksgiving whenever you want!